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Friday, July 8, 2011

It's official: Caleb King academically ineligible

And then there was Isaiah Crowell.

UGA has confirmed that tailback Caleb King is academically ineligible and will not return to the team in 2011. Thus ends a very checkered career for the former five-star recruit from Greater Atlanta Christian - and pretty much ensures that Crowell will have the spotlight on him when Georgia opens against Boise State.

Washaun Ealey and King were the Bulldogs' top two rushers the past two seasons, but each had a rocky 2010. Now both are gone.

"It's unfortunate Caleb will not be with us this season," head coach Mark Richt said in a statement. "We wish him the best in whatever he decides to do; however, we have to move forward and this will provide more opportunities for others to step

The release added: "King indicated he will consider the options available to him before
making a decision on his future plans."

Richt was making calls on Friday to help King for his next destination, but that won't be college, according to a source close to the player.

Earlier on Friday, King sent out a cryptic tweet:

“Somethings u cant control, and what seems bad right now might turn out good. Too all of my homeboyz hold UGA down don't let them brake u.”

According to two sources, King had the choice early in the summer of either transferring to a non-FBS school, or trying to make it through summer school classes. He chose the latter, but on Friday he discovered he was no longer eligible to play in the fall.

Friday was the first day of summer session II.

King rushed for 430 yards last year, leading all tailbacks with a 5.4 yards-per-rush average. But he missed five games: The Liberty Bowl, when he was academically ineligible; he was suspended two games last year after a traffic-related arrest; he was charged with failure-to-appear in court in Walton County, after incurring a speeding ticket there in June. King also missed two games with an ankle injury.

Besides Crowell, the five-star recruit from Columbus, the other options are redshirt freshman Ken Malcome, and junior Carlton Thomas. The only tailback with any experience is Thomas, who has 364 rushing yards and two touchdowns over the past two seasons. But he's only 5-foot-7, and thus is probably more a change-of-pace back.

Malcome (6-foot, 218 pounds) nearly played last year because of Ealey and King's various issues. But the coaches opted to save the redshirt. He dealt with a hamstring injury for much of spring practice.

Ealey announced he would transfer after the spring semester, when for a brief time he was suspended from team activities. Ealey's departure was a mutual one, but Georgia coaches had hopes for King. In late May, Richt called King "dependable", adding:

“People can have a debate on how effective he’s been. But when it comes to knowing what to do, when it comes to pass protection, when it comes to doing the things that we’re asking him to do, he does a good job.”

As for King, he sounded optimistic in the spring, when he got the bulk of the carries. He said he had exchanged messages with Crowell and was looking forward to mentoring him, and finishing his own career strong.

“Fifth year senior, that’s crazy. I never thought I’d be here this long,” King said. “I’m motivated. I’m focused. Because it’s my last year. One and done.”

As it turned out, his career is over, at least at Georgia.


Kyle said...

Wow. Two RBs with 0 playing time under their belt and 5'7" Carlton Thomas running behind a beaten up and green OL. I'm not counting on the passing game to carry the team with how Murray ended 2010 either. I hate to say it but Caleb Queen was one of our strengths. :(

B said...

If you can't cut the mustard, then you need to leave. After all the opportunities given athletes at UGA, one that cannot perform in the classroom doesn't want to perform. I personally can't believe that 4 years of classes, room and board were paid for this person. What a waste of good money when there are kids out there who can make the grades and also play.

Dubyadee said...

“Somethings u cant control, and what seems bad right now might turn out good. Too all of my homeboyz hold UGA down don't let them brake u.”

Hate to parse the words, but:

What about this was out of King's control?

Who are "them?"

Nate said...

well. we do have nother option of putting back richard samuel back at rb

Michael Odom said...

So many haters. Obviously the kid was no genius and he had a tough time with the demands of juggling academia and sec football. Let's remember he made some big contributions and won some games for us. The expectations didn't help - he was as highly rated a prospect as Crowell (how quickly we forget). I hope the fanbase doesn't jump all over Isahia when he isn't Knoshown right out right out of the gate.